People are silhouetted by blue light as they stand in the fog during a mass commemorating World Autism Awareness Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 1, 2011.
Felipe Dana/AP

Celebrating World Autism Day

Updated

For the past seven years on April 2nd Autism Speaks has celebrated “Light It Up Blue”, a unique global initiative to kick off Autism Awareness Month and help raise awareness about autism. “In honor of this historic day, many iconic landmarks, hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums, bridges and retail stores are among the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities that take part to Light It Up Blue,” Light It Up Blue website says.

Adopted by the United Nations in 2007, World Autism Awareness Day raises awareness and educates people on autism as a growing global health crisis. “WAAD celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with autism and is a day when individuals with autism are warmly welcomed and embraced in community events around the globe,” the website states. “Autism is one of only three health issues to be recognized by the United Nations with its own day.”  

Last year, more than 8,400 landmarks and building worldwide took part in the ‘Light it Up Blue’ movement, giving everyone an opportunity to “shine a light on autism.” 

Politicians took to Twitter to help raise awareness and encourage their followers to learn more about autism, an often misunderstood disorder. 

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Celebrating World Autism Day

Updated